Friday, October 30, 2009

This is what they mean ......

Hi all,

Here's a list of terms to take note of with regard to the climate debate that is currently heating up planet earth and its people. Be updated and wise up to viewing the issue in a better perspective.

FACTBOX - Deciphering the jargon in the climate debate

REUTERS - A new bill introduced by Democrats in the U.S. Senate is not the only thing the climate change debate has brought to Washington. Politicians, pundits and lobbyists alike are now speaking a new jargon as they try to tackle global warming.

Here are some terms being thrown around in the climate debate.

GLOBAL WARMING - The gradual rise in the Earth's average temperature thought to be caused by additional heat being trapped in the atmosphere by a buildup of greenhouse gases. Scientists say the the change in climate brought on by global warming could cause flooding from melting ice caps, more severe storms and droughts. The theory is still hotly disputed by some groups, including some Republicans in Congress who don't believe global warming has been proven as a threat.

GREENHOUSE GASES - Chemicals that trap the sun's heat near the Earth like a blanket. These chemicals include methane and carbon dioxide. Supporters of climate change legislation blame carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels for global warming.

CARBON FOOTPRINT - A measure of the impact of human activities on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases they produce, measured in units of carbon dioxide.

CARBON OFFSETS - Paying to make up for carbon emissions. Websites are now dedicated to allowing consumers to pay to have trees planted or contribute to a wind farm to make up for the carbon dioxide emitted when they drive or take a flight. A more formal, albeit unregulated, global voluntary carbon market also exists in which companies can buy verified emissions reductions to reduce their carbon footprint. The recession hurt demand for these offsets, which currently trade between $3 and $11 a tonne, but prices and demand are starting to improve.

CAP AND TRADE - A system that sets limits on harmful emissions, giving allowances to affected industries within these limits, or caps. Companies with emissions below the cap could sell their extra allowances to bigger polluters on a new financial market exchange. The Obama administration and Democrats in Congress support the system, but Republicans argue it would push more manufacturing abroad and raise energy prices.

CARBON PERMITS - Used in a cap and trade system, they bestow on their owner the legal right to emit greenhouse gases. Climate legislation in the Senate has outlined a plan for distributing the permits.

CARBON TAX - A policy that would tax fossil fuels based on their carbon content. It would be used to encourage the use of more clean energy sources. The corporate world has shown some support for this policy tool, but it has made little progress in getting into legislation.

COPENHAGEN - Location of an international summit to be held in December on climate change. The hope is for this United Nations summit to bring about a legally binding agreement on how to reduce the world's carbon emissions. But the United Nations recently lowered expectations for a climate deal at the meeting, saying it was preparing for post-Copenhagen talks.

The United States is pushing to make gains on its own climate legislation before the meeting as U.S. leadership is considered vital to global talks.

KYOTO - Short for Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement adopted in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, which sets binding targets for emissions of greenhouse gases that spur global warming. The United States never ratified the agreement, which called for developed countries to cut emissions by an average of 5.2 percent below what they were in 1990, saying it was unfair to exempt developing countries like China and India. The agreement expires in 2012. The world is looking to talks in Copenhagen to build on this agreement.

CLEAN DEVELOPMENT MECHANISM - A part of Kyoto that allowed developed countries to invest in projects, or offsets, that reduce emissions in developing countries as an alternative to more expensive emission reductions in their own countries. Its key point is that it allows for emission reductions that would not otherwise have been possible.

(Compiled by Jasmin Melvin in Washington, editing by Alan Elsner)


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Hi there...

Read about this bit of disturbing report in today's STAR. There is not enough of these 'wake-up' calls for people to sit up, listen and DO SOMETHING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE!!! We don't know what directions the coming Copenhagen Climate Change Conference will take ... whether or not all the participating countries will come to a unanimous YES to signing the climate deal. Whatever, you and I can start to make a difference NOW! Changing our lifestyles, our diets, living habits and attitudes can and will help in saving ourselves and our animal co-inhabitants from the point of no return.... STAND UP AND BE COUNTED! Heal the World!

Date : 20th Oct, 2009
Author: Charles J Hanley

Caribou herds are among the victims of dramatic changes in the Arctic due to climate change.

ON THE endlessly rolling and tussocky terrain of Yukon Territory, north-west Canada, where man has hunted caribou since the Stone Age, the vast antlered herds are fast growing thin. And it’s not just here.

Across the tundra 1,500km to the east, Canada’s Beverly herd, numbering more than 200,000 a decade ago, can barely be found today. Halfway around the world in Siberia, the biggest aggregation of these migratory animals, of the dun-coloured herds whose sweep across the Arctic’s white canvas is one of nature’s matchless wonders, has shrunk by hundreds of thousands in a few short years.

From wildlife spectacle to wildlife mystery, the decline of the caribou – called reindeer in the Eurasian Arctic – has biologists searching for clues, and finding them. They believe the insidious impact of climate change, its tipping of natural balances and disruption of feeding habits, is decimating a species that has long numbered in the millions and supported human life in Earth’s most inhuman climate.

Many herds have lost more than half their number from the maximums of recent decades, a global survey finds. They “hover on the precipice of a major decline,” it says.

The “people of the caribou,” the native Gwich’in of the Yukon and Alaska, were among the first to sense trouble, in the late 1990s, as their Porcupine herd dwindled. From 178,000 in 1989, the herd – named for the river crossing its range – is now estimated to number 100,000.

“They used to come through by the hundreds,” James Firth of the Gwich’in Renewable Resources Board said.

Off toward distant horizons on a summer afternoon, only small groups of a dozen or fewer migrating caribou could be seen grazing southwards across the spongy landscape, green with a layer of grasses, mosses and lichen over the Arctic permafrost. “I’ve never seen it like this before,” Firth said of the sparse numbers.

More than 50 identifiable caribou herds migrate over huge wilderness tracts in a wide band circling the top of the world. They head north in the spring to ancient calving grounds, then back south through summer and fall to winter ranges closer to northern forests.

The Porcupine herd moves over a 250,000sqkm range, calving in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, near Alaska’s north coast, where proposals for oil drilling have long stirred opposition from environmentalists seeking to protect the caribou.

The global survey by the University of Alberta published in June in the peer-reviewed journal Global Change Biology, has deepened concerns about the caribou’s future. Drawing on scores of other studies, government databases, wildlife management boards and other sources, the biologists found that 34 of 43 herds being monitored worldwide are in decline. The average falloff in numbers was 57% from earlier maximums, they said.

Siberia’s Taimyr herd has declined from one million in 2000 to an estimated 750,000, as reported in the 2008 Arctic Report Card of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Taimyr is the world’s largest herd, but Canada and Alaska have more caribou, and the Alberta study reported that 22 of 34 North American herds are shrinking. Data were insufficient to make a judgment on seven others.

Liv Solveig Vors, the June report’s lead author, summarised what is believed behind the caribou crash: “Climate change is changing the way they’re interacting with their food, directly and indirectly.” Global warming has boosted temperatures in the Arctic twice as much as elsewhere, and Canadian researchers say the natural balance is suffering:

> Unusual freezing rains in autumn are locking lichen, the caribou’s winter forage, under impenetrable ice sheets. This was the documented cause in the late 1990s of the near-extinction of the 50,000-strong Peary caribou subspecies on Canada’s High Arctic islands.

> Mosquitoes, flies and insect parasites have always tormented and weakened caribou, but warmer temperatures have aggravated this summertime problem, driving the animals on crazed, debilitating runs to escape, and keeping them from foraging and fattening up for winter.

> The springtime Arctic “green-up” is occurring two weeks or more earlier. The great caribou migrations evolved over ages to catch the shrubs on the calving grounds at their freshest and most nutritious. But pregnant, migrating cows may now be arriving too late.

Vors said caribou are unlikely to adjust. “Evolutionary changes tend to take place over longer time scales than the time scale of climate change at the moment,” she said.

Caribou herds have gone through boom-and-bust cycles historically, but were never known to decline so uniformly worldwide.

In neighbouring North-west Territories, the territorial government last month reported results of its aerial survey of the Bathurst herd: its population has dropped to about 32,000, from 128,000 in 2006.

“The numbers are not getting better. There’s no good news, no indication of recovery,” said J. Michael Miltenberger, the environment and natural resources minister of Yukon. He said “there’s a huge issue” with the Beverly herd, which numbered 276,000 in 1994, ranging over the Canadian tundra 1,500km due north of north Dakota. “We’ve been flying north to south, east to west,” Miltenberger said. “By our count, with the Beverly herd, they’ve all but disappeared.”

Climate change is piling problem upon problem on the caribou, he said, including bogging them down in thawing permafrost and lengthening the wildfire season, burning up their food.

“The cumulative impact is bringing enormous pressure on the caribou,” he said.

And that puts pressure on Canada’s “first nations,” who for at least 8,000 years have relied on the harvest of caribou meat for the winter larder, have settled along migration routes, have built their material culture around the animal – using skin, bones and sinews for clothing, shelter, tools, thread, even their drums.

Here in the timeless, silent beauty of Gwich’in country, his people may face “hard decisions,” Firth acknowledged, perhaps to limit their hunt to ease the pressure. The Yukon government recently restricted hunting to bulls, to spare reproducing cows. But even more may be at stake. On a summer day above the Arctic Circle, binoculars found a group of caribou being stalked by a hungry grizzly bear, a needy predator and another link in an intricate, interdependent natural web that may be unravelling, year by year and degree by degree, on the tundra. – AP

Monday, October 19, 2009



President Obama delivered a speech to the United Nations today as 100 world leaders gathered for the highest-level summit yet on climate change. Obama said the United States is "determined to act" as the "threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing."

Here is the text of Obama's speech as prepared for delivery.
Good morning. I want to thank the Secretary-General for organizing this summit, and all the leaders who are participating. That so many of us are here today is a recognition that the threat from climate change is serious, it is urgent, and it is growing. Our generation's response to this challenge will be judged by history, for if we fail to meet it -- boldly, swiftly, and together -- we risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe.

No nation, however large or small, wealthy or poor, can escape the impact of climate change. Rising sea levels threaten every coastline. More powerful storms and floods threaten every continent. More frequent drought and crop failures breed hunger and conflict in places where hunger and conflict already thrive. On shrinking islands, families are already being forced to flee their homes as climate refugees.

The security and stability of each nation and all peoples -- our prosperity, our health, our safety -- are in jeopardy. And the time we have to reverse this tide is running out.

And yet, we can reverse it. John F. Kennedy once observed that "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man." It is true that for too many years, mankind has been slow to respond to or even recognize the magnitude of the climate threat. It is true of my own country as well. We recognize that. But this is a new day. It is a new era. And I am proud to say that the United States has done more to promote clean energy and reduce carbon pollution in the last eight months than at any other time in our history.

We're making our government's largest ever investment in renewable energy -- an investment aimed at doubling the generating capacity from wind and other renewable resources in three years. Across America, entrepreneurs are constructing wind turbines and solar panels and batteries for hybrid cars with the help of loan guarantees and tax credits -- projects that are creating new jobs and new industries. We're investing billions to cut energy waste in our homes, buildings, and appliances -- helping American families save money on energy bills in the process. We've proposed the very first national policy aimed at both increasing fuel economy and reducing greenhouse gas pollution for all new cars and trucks -- a standard that will also save consumers money and our nation oil. We're moving forward with our nation's first offshore wind energy projects. We're investing billions to capture carbon pollution so that we can clean up our coal plants. Just this week, we announced that for the first time ever, we'll begin tracking how much greenhouse gas pollution is being emitted throughout the country. Later this week, I will work with my colleagues at the G20 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies so that we can better address our climate challenge. And already, we know that the recent drop in overall U.S. emissions is due in part to steps that promote greater efficiency and greater use of renewable energy.

Most importantly, the House of Representatives passed an energy and climate bill in June that would finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy for American businesses and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One committee has already acted on this bill in the Senate and I look forward to engaging with others as we move forward.

Because no one nation can meet this challenge alone, the United States has also engaged more allies and partners in finding a solution than ever before. In April, we convened the first of what have now been six meetings of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate here in the United States. In Trinidad, I proposed an Energy and Climate Partnership for the Americas. We've worked through the World Bank to promote renewable energy projects and technologies in the developing world. And we have put climate at the top of our diplomatic agenda when it comes to our relationships with countries from China to Brazil; India to Mexico; Africa to Europe.
Taken together, these steps represent an historic recognition on behalf of the American people and their government. We understand the gravity of the climate threat.

We are determined to act. And we will meet our responsibility to future generations.
But though many of our nations have taken bold actions and share in this determination, we did not come here today to celebrate progress. We came because there is so much more progress to be made. We came because there is so much more work to be done.

It is work that will not be easy. As we head towards Copenhagen, there should be no illusions that the hardest part of our journey is in front of us. We seek sweeping but necessary change in the midst of a global recession, where every nation's most immediate priority is reviving their economy and putting their people back to work. And so all of us will face doubts and difficulties in our own capitals as we try to reach a lasting solution to the climate challenge.

But difficulty is no excuse for complacency. Unease is no excuse for inaction. And we must not allow the perfect to become the enemy of progress. Each of us must do what we can when we can to grow our economies without endangering our planet -- and we must all do it together. We must seize the opportunity to make Copenhagen a significant step forward in the global fight against climate change.

We also cannot allow the old divisions that have characterized the climate debate for so many years to block our progress. Yes, the developed nations that caused much of the damage to our climate over the last century still have a responsibility to lead. And we will continue to do so by investing in renewable energy, promoting greater efficiency, and slashing our emissions to reach the targets we set for 2020 and our long-term goal for 2050.

But those rapidly-growing developing nations that will produce nearly all the growth in global carbon emissions in the decades ahead must do their part as well. Some of these nations have What we are seeking, after all, is not simply an agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions. We seek an agreement that will allow all nations to grow and raise living standards without endangering the planet. By developing and disseminating clean technology and sharing our know-how, we can help developing nations leap-frog dirty energy technologies and reduce dangerous emissions.

As we meet here today, the good news is that after too many years of inaction and denial, there is finally widespread recognition of the urgency of the challenge before us. We know what needs to be done. We know that our planet's future depends on a global commitment to permanently reduce greenhouse gas pollution. We know that if we put the right rules and incentives in place, we will unleash the creative power of our best scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs to build a better world. And so many nations have already taken the first steps on the journey towards that goal.

But the journey is long. The journey is hard. And we don't have much time left to make it. It is a journey that will require each of us to persevere through setback, and fight for every inch of progress, even when it comes in fits and starts. So let us begin. For if we are flexible and pragmatic; if we can resolve to work tirelessly in common effort, then we will achieve our common purpose: a world that is safer, cleaner, and healthier than the one we found; and a future that is worthy of our children. Thank you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Doubt Of A Young Child

Sometime ago, my going to be six year old daughter asked me that why a lot of people did not love our planet enough to save her. I care freely replied that maybe everyone loved our planet. Just that, many did not know the right way to save her from current perilous state. Then my daughter asked another question; why those people found it so difficult to save the planet the right way. She added that just be a vegan and go green.

Upon hearing that, I was speechless for a while. It's really something out of the mouth of babes and sucklings. I understood why she had such doubt. Every now and then, she heard from adults saying that be environmental friendly and reduced plastic bag usage. On the other hand they would carry out opened burning after raking leaves from their gardens. In a few occasions, she stopped neighbours from burning dried leaves and litter openly. However, her action failed to remind them that they were contributing to global warming which they preached so often but she was offered to keep the litter if they were not allowed to burn it instead!

At this point of time, if people are still thinking of reducing plastic bag usage, recycle some household items every now and then and/ or cut down on some fossil fuel consumption are everything about curbing global warming or being environmental friendly, it's regrettable to say that such activities have no chance to bear result given speed of detrimental results brought upon our earth by greatly lethal gasses such as methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia to name just a few.
Thus, we need to stop those lethal gasses at this very instant in order to curb the perilous situation from deteriorating further by stopping activities which generate such gasses; stop animal farming and be vegan. This is no longer an option but the only solution to climate change problems facing us now which take place in increasing magnitude and multitude.
The most magical part of this solution is that actually it does not require us to give up the whole world to save our beautiful earth but just a tiny little switch of life style from bad to good. Vegan or lacto vegetarian is economical in all aspect especially natural resources consumption; healthy mentally, physically and emotionally; sustainable economy; ...... In brief, the list of benefit we enjoy is endless.
Quite recently, I talked to a friend who had recovered from terminally ill disease. About two or three years ago, she noticed some unusual changes took place. She noticed that she lacked the concentration, focus and alertness that she used to have. Also, her magnificent memory was failing drastically. Then, one mid night, she experienced acute pain on her abdomen, and she also observed unusual seizure.
After consulting numerous doctors, not even one managed to explain to her the health problem facing her, not to mention to strategize a treatment plan. As time went by, she become too frail to keep her job at share market. Then, she did a lot of reading to try to understand her health problem. In the end of the day, she found a simple solution which she firmly believed had saved her life; be veg, high in fiber, low salt and less oil.
If vegan diet can save life with terminally ill disease, it's nutritious enough for everyone. Not only that, it's the right diet and the only diet to save our beautiful earth. As Red Indian has a saying, we do not inherit the earth from our ancestor but borrow her from our children. So, please, make sure we return a beautiful earth to our children.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


WHO says that a rose by any other name smells as sweet? Not true, if you were to take a check on the food products in a well-stocked supermarket. From bars of chocolates, sticks of chewing gum, tubs of ice-creams, bottles of shampoos to cans of my favourite baked beans, you will be swamped with a variety of choices.

So, what counts when you pay for your purchases? For me, as for many of you, brand name tops the list followed by the presentation or packaging. Commercial companies pay hefty sums of money on their brands and packaging of their products. And who ends up paying for all the frills and fanciful wrappings? We are so sold on the idea that what looks good outside must be the same inside that we fooled oursleves in paying for stuff that are priced way above their actual value because of incidental costs incurred on the packaging!

In many western countires where the rights and voice of the consumer is highly regarded, hypermarkets offer "Home Brands" with the minimal amount of packaging which cuts down the costs and yet still offer products of quality. Being the 'kia-su' that I am I took advantage of this when I shopped in such places. Believe me, you pay so much less for these "Home Brands" compared to the same branded stuff.
Home brand essentials like sugar, flour, bread, margarine, etc can cost as much as a dollar less! Boy, you sure make big savings on your shopping lists. Trouble with me is - I will get carried away and buy up more items than I ever need! So, there goes all the savings I had made earlier!!!

Some hypermarkets like TESCO and ECON-SAVE here are into "Home Brands" products now and you might do well to check them out. Don't hesitate when you have to make a choice as the quality are at par with the branded ones. So, why spend more when we can pay less and yet enjoy the same quality? I am constantly reminding myself this new-found truth.

Anyways, aside from having to foot out more for the fanciful packaging we are also guilty of contributing to the damage of the environ as the materials used are mostly not eco-friendly.

Here's an article from today's STAR which throws some light on how we can MAKE A DIFFERENCE" by not adding to the garbage glut with our living habits.Let's all take note and try our best to help SAVE THE ENVIRON for ourselves and our children....

( THE STAR, as it appears in FOCUS, Section Two dated 6th Oct, 2009)

FIGHT over-packaging – and the garbage glut – with these steps:

> Precycle. Choose the product with the least (or most environmentally friendly) packaging. If it is over-packaged, don’t buy it.

> Avoid food wrapped in individual serving sizes such as cheese slices, biscuits, juices, chocolates, non-dairy creamer and three-in-one drink sachets.

> Tell companies what you think. Write to the Customer Services Department and explain why you’re not buying that product. Feedback from customers can facilitate change.

> Buy in larger sizes. A 1-litre carton of juice will give you the same amount as five 200ml cartons, but less packaging waste.

Shop at the pasar – armed with your reusable tote and containers, of course. Produce sold at the market are not cling-wrapped or packed in polystyrene.

> Buy products with reusable or recycled packaging.

> Recycle your packaging. There will always be packaging. So make sure you drop the stuff into your recycling bin.

Source :

More info on overpackaging:

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Would appreciate if we all take a few precious minutes and read about what PETA (PEOPLE for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) did for the abused animals in factory farms:

After blowing the whistle on the abuse that she saw, a wonderful woman working at a Pennsylvania dairy factory farm went undercover for PETA for months. This allowed us to investigate and record the suffering of cows and calves at this Land O'Lakes, Inc., supplier.

Hundreds of cows on this factory farm were subjected to routine cruelty. Our investigator witnessed lame cows struggling to stand and walk as they were herded to the milking machines; cows who could not stand on their own being kicked, jabbed in the spine with a blade, and electro-shocked; and dying cows who were denied even a mercy killing to relieve their pain.

The meat, egg, and dairy industries don't want anyone to know the kind of hellholes factory farms are and how deeply and routinely animals suffer on them. But they can't stop PETA—with your help—from exposing their cruelty. Our investigation of this Pennsylvania dairy farm has enabled millions of people to see with their own eyes the suffering that goes into every glass of milk. And it has already helped us save at least two lives.

When our investigator first saw a sweet little calf named Jerry, the animal was in pitiful condition. His legs were deformed, and he was extremely thin, infested with lice, and nearly blind—most likely as a result of pinkeye, a bacterial infection that's often spread in the filthy conditions on factory farms.

Peter, another calf on the same farm, was found nearly unconscious and close to death. He was just skin and bones and was covered in ringworm fungus. Peter's plaintive moo was a gurgled moan because of a bacterial pneumonia that's common on dairy factory farms, and his skin was raw and scalded from being soaked in urine and feces in the filthy pen that he could not escape from.

Today, Peter and Jerry are thriving at a peaceful sanctuary where, thanks to your support, PETA pays for upkeep and the calves' monthly care. Their coats are growing thick and shiny, their bodies are filling out, and they can eat fresh grass and breathe clean air for the first time in their lives. Both Jerry's and Peter's health is steadily improving, and they are now the very best of friends.

BLOGGER'S NOTE: If you would like to help support PETA's noble work in saving our animal friends from further abuse, they do welcome $$$$ donations toward this cause. You can log on to their website and do the necessary :